RAC Cars News


Motability Goes Green With Nissan

By raccars Published

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Britain's Motability Scheme and Nissan have come together to open up the possibility of clean motoring to disabled drivers, with the addition of the Japanese brand's Leaf electric vehicle to the Motability line-up.

Some 620,000 motorists run cars with the aid of the scheme but the Leaf is the first battery powered vehicle to be made available under the car leasing operation. The Leaf's class leading efficiency figures include £2 charging sessions for a 124 mile range, which works out to 333mpg and adds up to a saving of about £1,000 on 10,000 miles worth of petrol for a car of a comparable size.

The Motability programme requires buyers to contribute an advance payment of £999 for a Visia trim Leaf, which includes black wing mirror trim, 16 inch steel wheels, halogen headlamps, fog lights to the front, i-Key and a four speaker stereo.

The slightly higher specified Acenta version of the Leaf includes a £1,299 advance payment, for which customers get Carwings – Nissan's telematics system with a seven inch touchscreen interface and integrated sat nav, automatic air conditioning, tinted glass to the rear, automatic sensor headlights and wipers, colour reverse parking camera and cruise control.

There is also a range topping Tekna model for a £1,999 AP with added leather trimmed, heated seats, a 360º Around View Monitor and a Bose audio system. At the moment the Motability price includes a data enabled 16amp home charging device which, after installation by British Gas, will get the Leaf up to full power within eight hours.

The 90mph capable Leaf is powered by a 24kWh lithium ion battery for the equivalent of 107bhp and will get from 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds. A fast charging function can provide up to 80% of capacity within 30 minutes, with public charging stations rapidly being installed countrywide. However, those whose circumstances involve regular long journeys rather than zipping around more urban environments will probably find the Leaf, with it limited range, unsuitable.

Motability has ensured its Premier Partner dealerships, of which Nissan has 200 in the UK, all feature at least two specially trained members of staff to handle sales and aftercare for scheme customers, to make sure all of the details and possibilities of the programme are properly explained.

To the general public, the Nissan Leaf is available from £15,990, which includes the government's low carbon vehicle subsidy of £5,000, but customers must also lease a battery at the cost of £70 per month through a 7,500 annual mileage contract over three years. Alternatively the car can be bought with its battery from £20,990.

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